Exercise is an important component of your overall healthy living goal, but a busy schedule can really complicate your plans to shape up. When you’re struggling to balance a career and a family, adding a new commitment to your schedule can easily feel overwhelming. The trick is often to merge one more more activities, so that you don’t feel over-scheduled and burn out quickly.
Try these four methods to integrate more exercise into your days.
Combine exercise with family time. The last thing you want to do is compromise family time in order to meet your goals. Luckily, you can accomplish both! If “quality time” used to mean watching movies or playing board games, switch over to more energetic activities that the whole family can enjoy together. Go for a long hike on the weekend, get off the park bench and play on the playground, or go for bike rides together.
You can even schedule a family video game night, if you have an Xbox Kinect system. Your body is the controller, and the variety of dance and sports games on the market mean you can play video games and get a workout at the same time!
Get up earlier. It can be difficult to squeeze yet another activity into the end of a long work day. Instead, set your clock an hour earlier and go for a walk, run, or bike ride. Just remember to stick it out for the first week or so. After that, your body clock will adjust, and getting up earlier won’t be so difficult anymore.
Skip the gym, and work out at home. You won’t always have time to drive to the gym, work out, and drive home. But that’s okay; there are plenty of toning exercises you can do at home. You don’t need any special equipment to perform lunges, squats, sit-ups, crunches, push-ups, or planks – and these happen to be some of the best toning exercises you can do! Check out exercise videos on YouTube as well, and get the whole family involved in your healthy living quest.
Walk it off. Wear a pedometer, or use a smart phone app which tracks your mileage, and aim to fit more walking into your day. Walk on your break at work, walk an extra lap or two around the mall when you’re shopping, take the stairs instead of elevators, park farther from the grocery store, and go for a walk with your spouse after dinner. If you have a baby or young child, remember that pushing a stroller up hills burns extra calories. Just set a walking goal for each day, and fit in those extra steps any time you can.